Kraków-Podgórze Detention Centre

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Kraków-Podgórze Detention Centre
Investigator custody in Kraków 3.jpg
Location Kraków, Poland
(picture shows corner of ulica Czarnieckiego and ulica Rękawka)
Coordinates 50°2′39.96″N 19°57′18.95″E / 50.0444333°N 19.9552639°E / 50.0444333; 19.9552639Coordinates: 50°2′39.96″N 19°57′18.95″E / 50.0444333°N 19.9552639°E / 50.0444333; 19.9552639
Status open
Security class minimum
Capacity 207
Opened built in 1905 as County Court
Closed in operation
Managed by Polish Administration of Prisons (Służba Więzienna), Ministry of Justice (Poland)
In World War II: KdS Krakau (Kommandeur or commander for the Cracow region (Distrikt Krakau) of the Sicherheits­polizei (Security Police) and of the Sicherheits­dienst (Security Service) (1944–1945) [verification needed]
Director Podpułkownik Renata Niziołek

The Kraków-Podgórze Detention Centre (Polish: Areszt Śledczy Kraków Podgórze) is a correctional facility located at ul. Stefana Czarnieckiego 3 in Kraków, Poland, in the municipal district of Podgórze. Originally, it was a turn-of-the-century County Court and revenue service, built in 1905, from design by Ferdynand Liebling.[2][3] At present, it is a community branch of Detention Centre Kraków, with main building located at ul. Montelupich 7 street.[4] The Kraków-Podgórze Detention Centre specializes in drug-and-alcohol-addiction therapy and serves also as a temporary arrest facility.[5] It was created in 1971 as a prison for men with the holding capacity of 207. It was made into a detention facility in 1990.[6] There's a medical clinic and a dentist on-site. Prisoners who completed the recovery program work with mentally and physically disabled clients.[7]

During World War II, it was a Nazi German prison, a place of secret detention and torture of Polish members of the Resistance,[8] Armia Krajowa.[9] It is memorialized as a notorious site of martyrdom during the German occupation of Poland.[10][11][12] The prison facility had a Gestapo station attached to it.[13]

The prison was initially incorporated within the borders of the Kraków Ghetto when that district was created by the Nazis in March 1941; however, in the redistricting of June 1942 (following mass deportations of the Ghetto population) the whole street was placed outside the confines of the Ghetto.[14]


In Polish literature, the prison is commonly referred to simply as więzienie przy ulicy Czarnieckiego ("the prison in Czarniecki Street").[15] The facility comprises the main building, constructed in 1905 (since 1996 listed in the register of historical monuments), and the adjoining parcel of land covering 3,133 square metres and surrounding the building on both sides and at the back (bounded on the south by the ulica Rękawka).[16] The grounds were used by the Nazis as execution grounds during the Second World War which ended here with the liberation of Cracow on 18 January 1945. The facility was used by the Nazis as a de facto subsidiary (Zweiganstalt) of the significantly larger facility in the ulica Monte­lu­pich.[17] Among the nu­me­rous victims murdered here is counted the Polish poet, Zuzanna Ginczanka.[18] The prison is mentioned in the diaries of Holocaust sur­vi­vors, such as Stanisław Taubenschlag (b. 1920; the son of Rafał Taubenschlag),[19] and was the place of imprisonment by the Nazis of Polish elite represented by the sculptor, Jan Krzyczkowski (1910–­1980).[20] It appears in the memoirs of Tadeusz Pan­kie­wicz, the pro­pri­e­tor of the famous "Under the Eagle" pharmacy (Apteka Pod Orłem) nearby, featured in the award-winning film, Schindler's List.[21] The var­i­ous methods of torture used by the Nazis against the detainees included an early form of waterboarding performed in a bathtub full of water, which close family members of the victims specially brought to the prison for the occasion were made to witness as an added terror tactic (e.g., in the case of Józef Świstak nom de guerre Bunkier, a member of the Szare Szeregi, d. 1944, whose mother was made to witness his mar­tyr­dom).[22] The prison was a military target in the attempts by the Armia Krajowa to free prisoners incarcerated there.[23]­[24]­[25]­[26]­[27] Most of those imprisoned at Czarnieckiego 3 could not be helped.[28]

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the total number of prisoners averaged at 150 at any one time: for example, the records for 25 May 1942 show a total of 165.[29] On another occasion during the War, there were just 59 prisoners, including 5 women.[30] Resistance movement was active within the prison, and prisoners had access to clandestine literature of the under­ground, while inside information on the prison was being secretly sent out to the Polish government-in-exile.[31] On 3 February 1944 the prison was placed under the authority of the commander (Kommandeur) for the Cracow region (Distrikt Krakau) of the Sicherheits­polizei (Security Police) and of the Sicherheits­dienst (Intelligence Service), at which time the existing prisoners were transferred to alternative lo­ca­tions.[29] The post of the Kommandeur of these two services was occupied from September 1943 until the end of the Nazi rule in Cracow on 17 January 1945 by Rudolf Batz (1903–1961) — who for fifteen and a half years after the War (until November 1960) avoided capture by living under an assumed identity.[32]

After the War, the facility continued to be used by the communist authorities of Poland for detention of political prisoners in the Soviet-backed struggle for control over the Polish nation: in March 1946 the prison housed 275 inmates.[15]

Physical structure[edit]

The building — not intended for prison use — was originally designed by the Polish architect Ferdynand Liebling (1877–1942) as a mixed-use courthouse-cum-taxation office for the town of Podgórze (Ger., Josefs­stadt) and constructed in 1905 when the area was under Austrian occupation. The date of the establishment of prison facilities on the premises is unknown. Podgórze, originally a separate town, was incorporated into the municipality of Cracow by a decision of the Podgórze city council in 1915. Wartime records, including the memoirs of Tadeusz Pankiewicz, indicate that a court was still functional here in Nazi times of the Second World War, at least nominally (the prison being the chief feature),[14] while communist-era press reports cite an operational circuit court together with the prison on the premises in post-War years, suggesting a conversion to an all-prison use in 1971 when the court ceased operations.[16][33] The prison administration quarters housed in the post-War years an office of the District Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes (Okręgowa Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich, a defunct governmental body now subsumed within the IPN whose purview includes Communist in addition to Nazi crimes).[34]

During the Third Republic, on 22 May 1996, the prison complex was entered on the register of historical monuments protected by law, a fact further confirmed by an additional resolution of the City Council of 28 June 2006.[35]

Current status[edit]

Despite being recognized as both a historical monument and a place of martyrdom, the facility continues to be operated to this day as a combination of remand prison and ordinary correctional facility by the Polish Prison Administration (the Służba Więzienna), a unit of the Polish Justice Ministry.[16] Its current official name is Areszt Śledczy Kraków Podgórze.[16] One of its former names was Zakład Karny Kraków-Podgórze. Prisoner-letters draw attention to overcrowding, and two suicides in one year.[36]

Materials pertaining to crimes against humanity committed at Czarnieckiego 3 during the Second World War are preserved at the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw,[37] and at other archives in Poland (listed in part in Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939–1945: informator encyklopedyczny; see Bibliography) and at the Bad Arolsen Archives in Germany.[29]


The Czarnieckiego Prison in the Cracow district of Podgórze is not to be confused with the central prison (Zentral-Gefängnis) of the Łódź Ghetto (Ghetto Litzmannstadt), which was (historically) located in a Łódź street of the same name (the ul. Czarnieckiego) at number 14/16 (street renamed Schneidergasse by the Nazis, and the building indicated at number 12).[38] Like the prison discussed in the present article, the Łódź jail is frequently mentioned in the memoirs of Holocaust survivors (for example, by Holocaust witness Sara Zyskind (1927–1994), who speaks about "the prison on Czarniecki Street").[39] That facility is now defunct, and the building that housed it no longer extant.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Miejsca pamięci, Prison at ul. Czarnieckiego 14/16 street in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in Łódź. Centrum Dialogu im. Marka Edelmana w Łodzi, 2012.
  2. ^ Paweł Kubisztal (September 2011). "Areszt Śledczy Kraków Podgórze, ul. Czarnieckiego 3". Podgórskie Dni Otwartych Drzwi. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Areszt Śledczy Kraków–Podgórze" (PDF file, direct download 690 KB). Podgórskie Dni Otwartych Drzwi. Miejsca. Dziennik Polski. September 17, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Description (2010). "Struktura Aresztu Śledczego w Krakowie (Structure)". Areszt Śledczy Kraków, Montelupich 7 (Detention Centre Kraków). Służba Wię Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ Służba Więzienna (2010). "Areszt Śledczy w Krakowie Podgórzu". Okręgowy Inspektorat Służby Więziennej w Krakowie. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ Służba Więzienna (2010). "Areszt Śledczy Kraków Podgórze, ul. Czarnieckiego 3, Kraków". Description (Opis). Okręgowy Inspektorat Służby Więziennej Kraków. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ Tadeusz Szarek (2012). "Oddział Terapeutyczny w Areszcie Śledczym w Krakowie – Podgórzu". Szpital Specjalistyczny im. dr. Józefa Babińskiego. Wojewódzki Ośrodek Terapii Uzależnienia i Współuzależnienia w Krakowie. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ MHMK (2012). "Biographical entry: Aleksander Jaworski. Nom de guerre: Ursus". Archive of the victims of the Nazi and the Communist terror in Kraków 1939–1956. Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa (Historical Museum, Krakow). Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ Piotr Stachiewicz (2012). "Pierwsze próby krakowskie (First Resistance Attempts in Kraków)". Akcja Koppe, Wydawnictwo MON, Warszawa 1975 (in Polish). Pamięci konspiratorów krakowskiego Kedywu AK (In memory of AK members of the Resistance). Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ Stanisław Dąbrowa-Kostka, W okupowanym Krakowie: 6 IX 1939–18 I 1945, Warsaw, Wydawnictwo MON, 1972, p. 17.
  11. ^ Stanisław Porębski, Krakowskie Szare Szeregi, Harcerska Oficyna Wydawnicza Krakowskiej Komendy Chorągwi ZHP [Związku Harcerstwa Polskiego], Kraków, 1985.
  12. ^ Paweł Miłobędzki, Harcerze w okupowanym Krakowie 1939–1945, [Barbara H.U.P. Gąsiorowska Barbara] Komisja Historyczna Krakowskiej Chorągwi ZHP, Kraków 2005, ch. 4. ISBN 8392180224.
  13. ^ Stanisław Strzelichowski (1926–1950), Dwa lata: grudzień 1942 – październik 1944, ed. E. Strzelichowska-Du­bal­ska, hist. annotations A. Basak, Wrocław, Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1972, p. 254. [verification needed]
  14. ^ a b Tadeusz Pankiewicz, Apteka w getcie krakowskim, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków 2003, p. 114. ISBN 8308033539.
  15. ^ a b Andrzej Chwalba, Dzieje Krakowa, vol. 6 (Kraków w latach 1945–1989), ed. J. Bieniarzówna & J. M. Małecki, Cracow, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2004, p. 194. ISBN 8308036368, ISBN 8308001157.
  16. ^ a b c d Description of the current state of the facility on the Prison Administration website of the Polish Ministry of Justice. (See online.)
  17. ^ Wincenty Hein & Czesława Jakubiec, Montelupich, Cracow, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1985, pp. 53, 59, 201. ISBN 8308003931. Cf. Stanisław Piwowarski & Jacek Salwiński, Rozbicie więzienia św. Michała w Krakowie 18 VIII 1946 r., Cracow, Krakowski Klub Artystyczno-Literacki, 1997, p. 12. ISBN 838581650X.
  18. ^ Izolda Kiec, Zuzanna Ginczanka: życie i twórczość, Poznań, Obserwator, 1994, pp. 162–163, 177. ISBN 8390172003. Kiec consistently misspells the name of the street as "ulica Czarneckiego [sic]".
  19. ^ Stanisław Taubenschlag, To be a Jew in Occupied Poland: Cracow, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, tr. (from the French) D. Herman, Oświęcim, Frap-Books, 1998, p. 29. ISBN 8390699230, ISBN 9788390699233. (First published as Być Żydem w okupowanej Polsce: Kraków–Auschwitz–Buchenwald, 1996.)
  20. ^ Monika Bednarek & Jacek Salwiński, Pomorska: przewodnik po miejscu pamięci narodowej i oddziale Muzeum Historycznego miasta Krakowa, Cracow, Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa, 2003, p. 34. ISBN 8391425177.
  21. ^ Tadeusz Pankiewicz, The Cracow Ghetto Pharmacy, tr. H. Tilles, New York, Holocaust Library, 1987, P. 30. ISBN 0896040860; ISBN 0896040879. (First published as Apteka "Pod Orłem" w getcie krakowskim, 1966.) Pankiewicz's pharmacy is 200 metres (700 feet) away from the Czarnieckiego Prison.
  22. ^ The report of Czesław Sułek nom de guerre Cenio; in: Podgórski pluton dywersyjny "Alicja" Szarych Szeregów w Krakowie, ed. Cz. Skrobecki, Komisja Historyczna ZBoWiD [Oddział Kraków–Podgórze], 1983. (Read excerpts online.)
  23. ^ Piotr Stachiewicz, Akcja Koppe: krakowska akcja "Parasola", 2nd ed., corr. & enl., Warsaw, Wydawnictwo MON, 1982, p. 39. ISBN 831106752X.
  24. ^ Ryszard Nuszkiewicz, Uparci, Warsaw, PAX, 1983, pp. 194 & 199. ISBN 8321104657.
  25. ^ Włodzimierz Rozmus nom de guerre Buńko, W oddziałach partyzanckich i baonie "Skała", Cracow, Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1987, pp. 33–34. ISBN 8303017934.
  26. ^ Dionizy Garbacz, Mroczne lata: Stalowa Wola, 1939–1944, Stalowa Wola, Wydawnictwo Sztafeta, 1993, p. 107, n. 12.
  27. ^ Teodor Gąsiorowski, s.v. "Banaś, Władysław"; in: Małopolski słownik biograficzny uczestników działań niepo­dległościowych, 1939–1956, vol. 1, ed. T. Gąsiorowski, et al., Cracow, Towarzystwo Sympatyków Historii, 1997, p. 17. ISBN 8390456877.
  28. ^ Stanisław Dąbrowa-Kostka, W okupowanym Krakowie: 6 IX 1939–18 I 1945, Warsaw, Wydawnictwo MON, 1972, p. 151.
  29. ^ a b c Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939–1945: informator encyklopedyczny, ed. Cz. Pilichowski et al. (for the Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce and the Rada Ochrony Pomników Walki i Męczeństwa), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1979, p. 252. ISBN 8301000651.
  30. ^ Tadeusz Wroński, Kronika okupowanego Krakowa, Cracow, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1974, p. 263.
  31. ^ Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939–1945: informator encyklopedyczny, ed. Cz. Pilichowski et al. (for the Główna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce and the Rada Ochrony Pomników Walki i Męczeństwa), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1979, p. 252. ISBN 8301000651. Cf. Grzegorz Ostasz, Krakowska Okręgowa Delegatura Rządu na Kraj 1941–1945, Rzeszów, Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Rze­szow­skiej, 1996, p. 110. ISBN 8386705582.
  32. ^ Alwin Ramme, Der Sicherheitsdienst der SS: Zu seiner Funktion im faschistischen Machtapparat und im Besatzungsregime des sogenannten Generalgouvernements Polen, Berlin, Deutscher Militärverlag, 1970, pp. 259, 280. Tadeusz Wroński, Kronika okupowanego Krakowa, Cracow, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1974, p. 292. Cf. Teki Archiwalne, vol. 17, Warsaw, Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Państwowych, 1978, p. 84. Cf. Grzegorz Ostasz, Krakowska Okręgowa Delegatura Rządu na Kraj 1941–1945, Rzeszów, Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Rze­szow­skiej, 1996, p. 46. ISBN 8386705582. Petras Stankeras, "Vokiečių saugumo policijos ir saugumo tarnybos (SD) vado institucija Lietuvos generalinėje srityje 1941–1944 metais" (The Office of the Commander of the Nazi Security Police and the Security Service in Lithuanian Lands in 1941–1944), Karo archyvas, vol. 21, Vilnius, Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2006, p. 243 n. 152. ISSN 1392-6489. Cf. also Andrej Angrick & Peter Klein, The "Final Solution" in Riga: Exploitation and Annihilation, 1941–1944, tr. (from the German) R. Brandon, New York, Berghahn Books, 2009, pp. 443–444 & (esp.) 461 n. 27. ISBN 9781845456085, ISBN 1845456084.
  33. ^ Cf. "Obwieszczenie o licytacji nieruchomości" (Notice of Forfeited Real-estate Auction), Dziennik Polski (Cracow), No. 63 (4993), 15 March 1960, p. 5.
  34. ^ Cf. "Komunikat Okręgowej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich" (A Communiqué of the District Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes), Dziennik Polski (Cracow), No. 104 (8458), 4 May 1971, p. 3.
  35. ^ "Wykaz obiektów i zespołów objętych prawną ochroną i opieką konserwatorską oraz ochroną ustaloną planem" (Register of Legally Protected Monuments and Complexes subject to Conservation and Planned Protection), Ad­den­dum No. 3 to the City Council Resolution No. CXIII/1156/06 of 28 June 2006 (see online).
  36. ^ Agnieszka Gierczak, "List Salvatore z więzienia" (Salvatore's Letter from Prison), Wiadomoś, 17 September 2008 (see online).
  37. ^ Informator o zasobie archiwalnym Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, ed. J. Bednarek & R. Leśkiewicz, Warsaw, Instytut Pamięci Narodowej — Komisja Ścigania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu, 2009, p. 1207. ISBN 9788376290683.
  38. ^ Sascha Feuchert, et al., eds., Die Chronik des Gettos Lodz / Litzmannstadt, vol. 4 (1944), Göttingen, Wallstein-Verlag, 2007, p. 368. ISBN 9783892448341, ISBN 3892448345.
  39. ^ Sara Zyskind, Stolen years, tr. M. Insar, Minneapolis (Minnesota), Lerner Publications Co., 1981, pp. 33, 138, 140. ISBN 0822507668.